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Social Networking & Learning

Because web-based social networking almost always requires reading, writing, and thinking when tweens and teens participate using this technology they have an opportunity to improve their reading and writing skills. For example:

  • A 16 year old joins a discussion on a Facebook fan site for a favorite band. In that discussion the teen gets the chance to read what others are saying about the band’s music and also gets to write about his own likes and dislikes.
  • When a 13 year old sees a photo she likes on the photo-sharing site Flickr, she can write a comment about the image that gives her the chance to express what she likes about the photo or what the photo makes her think about.

Because social networking does help improve reading and writing, teachers are starting to use these tools in their classrooms as a way to enhance student literacy skills and to give students the chance to connect with others from around the world. For example:

There are many opportunities for educational uses of social networking. You can read more about them at Teens and Social Networking (file in .pdf).